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Where Volunteers Make a Difference

Volunteers Making a Difference for 50 Years!

For 50 years, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has been offering personalized placement, matching volunteers age 55+ with community service opportunities across Dane County.  Our volunteers share their knowledge, interests, experience and energy, contributing to the well-being of their local communities.

RSVP is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. Our funding is a combination of federal, state, city and county support as well as private grants and donations from local businesses and individuals. Our major funders include: Corporation for National and Community Service, Dane County Department of Human Services, City of Madison, and Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 

Our Mission

To make a positive impact in the community by recruiting volunteers 55 and older to help deliver priority services to people of all ages, providing Dane County with a valuable resource.

Our Vision

RSVP aspires to build and expand a community-wide network of volunteers and organizations that unites compassionate, experienced adults with meaningful and fulfilling service opportunities, which enrich the lives of the volunteers while enhancing support for people in need.

Our Values

Dependability - Partnership - Service - Volunteerism - Innovation - Inclusion

RSVP is committed to a culture of inclusion and connectedness. RSVP volunteers and staff come from many backgrounds, and this makes us stronger. Individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, and talent that our volunteers contribute, represent the service and compassion we offer our community. 

Our History

In 1969, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) was created as a national volunteer program under the Administration on Aging as part of the Older Americans Act. In 1971, eleven programs were launched, and they became part of the National Volunteer Agency, ACTION. RSVP of Dane County became the first program in Wisconsin in 1972. When the Corporation for National and Community Service was formed in 1993, RSVP joined the newly created Senior Corps division, along with the Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions programs. In 1999, we expanded to include a Foster Grandparent program in Dane County. The Corporation for National and Community Service merged Senior Corps with AmeriCorps, it’s service program for younger Americans in 2021. Senior Corps is now known as AmeriCorps Seniors.

Today, RSVP is one of the largest networks for volunteering in the nation for people age 55 and over, with nearly 200,000 people serving in programs across the country. RSVP of Dane County, which has over 1,400 volunteers, is one of the largest programs in the United States.   We have been recognized, both locally and nationally, for our service to older adults.

Our Current Annual Report

To view our current Annual Report, click on the image above.

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Partners Tell Us

Raised the Bar
“RSVP volunteers have really raised the bar in volunteer involvement; they often take on more than one volunteer assignment and their patience and diligence benefit other volunteers who see them as mentors.”
- Community Organization Representative
Good Fit
“RSVP places committed volunteers who are typically looking to be placed long term. They work to make sure the fit is good for both the volunteer and the agency.”
- Community Organization Representative